Patrick Heron

The Long Table with Fruit : 1949


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Not on display
Patrick Heron 1920–1999
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 457 x 914 mm
frame: 710 x 1167 x 93 mm
Purchased 1994

Display caption

The attention to colour in this early still life by Heron reflects his enthusiasm for the work of Bonnard and Matisse. He commented that 'throughout my early life I had this tremendous battle against the total English contempt for anything they could call decorative ¿ The perfectly ordered surface gives great pleasure. That pleasure used to be run away from by the English'. The ceramics depicted in this work were produced by the Leach pottery, where Heron worked during the Second World War.

Gallery label, August 2004

Technique and condition

Painted in artists' oil colours on a canvas prepared by C. Roberson. The linen canvas is primed with a white oil primer and stretched onto a wooden stretcher.

The stretched canvas appears to have been given a thin coating of white on which the outlines of the composition are fluidly drawn by brush with thinned crimson paint. The areas of colour are brushed in paint so as not to obliterate the drawing, varying from glazes and scumbles to moderately impastoed areas where passages have been modified as in the central yellow jug. The yellow stripes of the table cloth edges are squeezed directly from the tube. Many areas are left with the white initial coat showing through.

The painting is not varnished and framed in an ornate distressed white frame which at one time was around a similar work by Heron of the same date. Apart from a general layer of dirt the painting is in good condition with only a few areas of cracks. It was surface cleaned and the frame improved on acquisition.

Roy Perry

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